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Team USA expecting hostile crowd against Russia

Feb 14, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

When the United States faces Russia on Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN), it’s shaping up to be the most-anticipated game of the opening round.

For the Americans, they know they’re not just going up against Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and the rest of the team but also the crowd as they told Yahoo! Sports.

“Obviously this will be a lot like playing Canada in Vancouver with the hostile atmosphere,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said.

Team USA knows all about what that was like after facing Canada twice in 2010 in Vancouver. They’ll have to recreate some of that success they had if they want to send the Russian fans home disappointed.

“We’re going to play a Russian team that’s at home. They’ve got their home country cheering them on. They’re going to need no motivation for sure,” forward David Backes said.  “[They have] a skill level on that team that’s probably the highest in this tournament so we’re going to have to work our butts off, do the little things, and play our blue collar hockey in order to win that game.”

  1. blomfeld - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:46 AM

    YEAH ? … WELL AT LEAST THEY WON’T BE SET ON FIRE !

    Just kidding, as save for the few ‘misguided’ punks here back in 2011, I can attest that the ‘vast’ majority of Vancouverites are good & decent folk. And I know this friends first hand, as I Blomfeld am counted among their ranks ! :) In all seriousness though, I do hope that the Russians don’t resort to any underhanded and/or ‘asymmetric’ counter measures if things fail to go their way ? That would be a shame, as it would be a slap in the face of ‘all’ that the Olympic spirit is meant to espouse.

    GO QUICK !!

    GO BROWN !!

    GO USA AND VICTORY WITH HONOR !!

    ps: and of course, GO ELVIS too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  2. badgerhockey77 - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    I hear what you are saying blomfeld. Ordinary Vancouver folk are good and decent. However, Vancouver ‘hockey fans’ have pretty dubious history. Here’s a look at their rap sheet off the top of my head.

    - Booed their own beloved Team Canada off the ice after game# 4 of the 1972 Summit Series. Just ask Phil Esposito.

    - Rioted in streets after the Canucks lost in the Stanley cup finals in 1994 AND 2011. Didn’t learn from ’94 apparently.

    - Mobs of people chanted ‘FUKK USA’ in the streets after Canada won gold in 2010. Very classy indeed!

    Anyways, Russian fans are docile by comparison. Team USA won’t be too distracted. They can expect whistles every time they touch the puck. That’s about it. Not very frightening at all.

  3. jhaegs - Feb 15, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    “And now the fans are rioting the streets, as is tradition. Such beauty. Such grace.”……

    Sorry, a Canadian ‘South Park’ episode was just on.

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